Though business can be a lot of fun I confess that I also love the networking involved. To some extent networking involves problem-solving as much as consulting does, but the rewards are different. Some people network for jobs, some for business, some for the pleasure of a new and unexpected connection. I like matching one person’s interest to another’s – connecting the dots between them.
I recently had a chance to connect the dots for two companies. One is an engineering consulting firm, the other a technology company. During our conversation the owner of the engineering firm told me about a personal side project: He’s designed a diagnostic tool that takes multiple readings from a single position in a pipe. When I met with the technology firm a week or so later and learned more about their business, I recalled my conversation with the engineer and wondered whether his device might complement the tech company’s efforts. Later I spoke with him, probed his interest, and then connected him to an appropriate person at the tech company. What develops from there is up to them but at least I introduced two strangers who may be able to help each other.
In business-talk, Do Unto Others translates to Help First. It’s the idea that helping others helps everyone. It reminds me of the safety briefings on a plane: If there is a loss of cabin pressure and the oxygen masks drop from the overhead panel, put your mask on first then assist others. If you pass out you are no help to those who can’t help themselves. With your mask on you can think clearly, anticipate the next steps, and carry them out. Similarly by helping others you create opportunities that aren’t possible if you focus only on what works for you.
Last week I attended the retirement party of a man whose business it was to connect people – a sort of professional networker. He was great at connecting the dots between his clients and opportunities for them because he is sincerely interested in people. By focusing on what worked for them he built a thriving business and created thousands of friends, not merely clients. His party was filled with those, all dots he’d connected at one point or another. Truly inspiring.
© 2010 Makarios Consulting, LLC, www.MakariosConsulting.com